Cervical cancer is the most common oncology in 40-60 years old women. The cause of cervical cancer is human papillomavirus (HPV). HPV 16/18 oncogenic subtypes are found in most patients with cervical cancer. At present, HPV DNA testing is widely used in developed countries. The risk is especially high for women who have never been screened, who started sex life early and gave birth to their first child, as well as for those who have more than 5 children.
Diagnostics of cervical cancer
Thanks to the latest equipment and highly qualified doctors, the diagnostics and cervical cancer treatment in Germany are at the highest level. The accurate diagnostic is one of the main conditions for prescribing the correct treatment.
Diagnostic measures include:
- Gynecological examination with colposcopy.
- Endovaginal / transrectal ultrasound (ultrasound).
- MRI of the pelvis is mandatory for assessing the extent of the tumor spreading.
- PET-CT is the preferred screening method when planning chemoradiotherapy.
- Biopsy with the subsequent histological examination of the received tissue specimen.
Cytological examination of smears from the cervix and from the cervical canal is a reliable screening test. The use of screening programs for population check-ups makes it possible to reveal a disease at the stage of precancer or at the initial stage. The decisive role in making an accurate diagnosis plays the correct conduction of diagnostic procedures.
Screening for cervical cancer must begin after the first sexual contact. Screening frequency is annually for the first 2 years and every 2-3 years further. Screening may be stopped in women over 70 years old with an intact cervix who had 3 or more registered consecutive negative results of cytological studies during the last 10 years.
Dysplasia and preinvasive cervical cancer do not have pathognomonic clinical manifestations and are diagnosed with only morphologically. Preinvasive cervical cancer may be revealed by histological examination on a visually unchanged cervix with dysplasia. The earliest clinical manifestations of cervical cancer are profuse, watery whites and “contact” spotting from the genital tract. In women of reproductive age, alerting signs are acyclic spotting discharge from the genital tracts, in postmenopausal women – periodic or permanent ones.
With the significant local regional spreading of the tumor, patients complain of pain, dysuria, and difficulties with bowel movements.
Surgical treatments for cervical cancer
The volume of surgical intervention depends on the clinical stage and intraoperative findings. At the early stages of cervical cancer minimally invasive methods of treatment can be used. These treatment options are especially applicable to patients of childbearing age. For more information follow the link cervical cancer treatment in Germany.
The goal of radical surgery for cervical cancer is to remove the primary tumor and all affected structures completely. Palliative surgery is usually performed to reduce or eliminate the symptoms of the disease in those cases when radiation therapy was ineffective or caused complications, for example, the formation of a rectovaginal or vesicovaginal fistula.
If you want to be diagnosed or treated in Germany, seek the help of specialists. Booking Health has many years of experience in working with patients from other countries. Thanks to the vast experience in the field of medical tourism, you will find a treatment program in the best hospitals in Germany.
The use of radiation and chemotherapy for cervical cancer
Radiation therapy is a leading component of a multimodal cervical cancer treatment scheme. It is used mainly in large tumors, as well as in affection of the pelvic lymph nodes detected during laparotomy (uterine extirpation is not performed in this case). Radiation therapy is also performed in patients who have contraindications to general anesthesia.
Radiation therapy is used not only to cure cervical cancer but also to eliminate its symptoms. Due to the fact that radiation therapy is performed on the newest equipment in the best clinics of Germany, side effects are extremely rare.
There are two groups of radiation therapy methods that differ in the position of the sources of ionizing radiation in relation to the patient’s body:
- Remote radiation therapy, when the source of ionizing radiation is located outside the body.
- Contact radiation therapy, when small sources of ionizing radiation are located next to the tumor (with intracavitary radiation therapy, they are located in the body cavities).
Chemotherapy is not a major treatment for cervical cancer. However, it can complement surgical treatment and radiation therapy in large tumors.